National Legal News

Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[05/19] Van Audenhove v. Perry
In a suit for malicious prosecution, alleging that defendant contacted the police and falsely accused plaintiff of stalking, and that the police arrested him, but the district attorney's office ultimately declined to prosecute, the trial court's judgment sustaining a demurrer and dismissing the action is affirmed where the complaint failed to allege a prosecution, as required for a claim of malicious prosecution.

[05/18] Gillotti v. Stewart
In a construction defect law suit by a homeowner, the trial court's judgment and post-trial orders denying motions for new trial or judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) and ordering plaintiff to pay defendant's expert witness fees due to plaintiff not obtaining a judgment more favorable that defendant's settlement offer, Code Civ. Proc. section 998, are affirmed where plaintiff fails to show any basis for reversal.

[05/18] Petras v. Simparel Inc.
In suit alleging a reverse False Claims Act (FCA) claim against plaintiff's former employer, contending that defendants knowingly and improperly avoided a contingent obligation to pay accrued dividends to an investing entity after the entity had been placed into receivership and was being operated by the SBA, the district court's dismissal of the first and second amended complaint is affirmed where under the FCA provision?s plain language, the defendants could not have knowingly and improperly avoided or decreased an obligation to pay the accrued dividends at the time of their alleged misconduct because the obligation did not yet exist; and 2) even if the SBA qualified as the Government for purposes of plaintiff's FCA action, the reverse FCA claim would still be dismissed.

[05/16] US ex rel. Badr v. Triple Canopy, Inc.
In a qui tam suit on remand from the United States Supreme Court, the prior Court of Appeals' decision is affirmed where, applying Universal Health Services, Inc. v. US ex rel. Escobar, 136 S.Ct. 1989 (2016), the Government has stated a claim under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. section 3729(a) against defendant.

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Labor & Employment Law

[05/26] Fernandez v. Zoni Language Ctrs., Inc.
In an employment suit brought by English language teachers, alleging minimum wage and overtime claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. sections 201 et seq., the district court's dismissal is affirmed over plaintiffs' arguments that it was error to afford defendants the FLSA's exemption for bona fide professional employees, section 213(a)(1), because defendants are not 'educational establishment[s],' as required by law, 29 C.F.R. sections 541.303(a), 541.204(b).

[05/25] Dhillon v. John Muir Health
In a dispute between a physician and his hospital employer, involving the application of the general rule of Code Civ. Proc. section 904.1, when a trial court has granted a petition for writ of administrative mandamus and remanded the matter for proceedings before an administrative body, the Court of Appeal's dismissal of the appeal is reversed where: 1) although the issuance of the writ did not definitively resolve the dispute between the parties, it did mark the end of the writ proceeding in the trial court; and thus 2) the court's order is an appealable final judgment.

[05/25] Lee v. MSPB
In an action brought by a former government employee appealing her termination, the Merit Systems Protection Board's decision dismissal is affirmed where the Board lacked jurisdiction to hear her appeal.

[05/24] US EEOC v. McClane Co., Inc.
On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, in an action challenging the EEOC's issuance of an administrative subpoena requesting 'pedigree information' (name, Social Security number, last known address, and telephone number) for employees or prospective employees who took an employer's physical capability strength test, as part of an investigation of a sex discrimination claim, the district court's order denying the enforcement of the subpoena is vacated where the district court abused its discretion because the information was relevant to the EEOC's investigation.

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Workers' Comp

[05/22] Southern Ins. Co. v. WCAB
In an action involving a workers' compensation insurance policy that was issued based on the express representation that the covered employer's employees did not travel out of state, and after an employee was injured out of state, the insurer notified the employer that it was rescinding the policy because of the employer's misrepresentation and returned the premium, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's decision affirming an arbitrator's decision that, as a matter of law, the insurer could not rescind the policy and that the policy was in effect, is annulled where: 1) contrary to the arbitrator's ruling, a workers' compensation insurance policy may be rescinded; and 2) the arbitrator and the appeals board did not address and determine whether rescission was a meritorious defense to the employee's claim.

[04/26] City of Jackson v. WCAB
In a workers' compensation case, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's decision disregarding the apportionment determination of the qualified medical evaluator (QME) on the ground the determination was not substantial medical evidence and directing the workers' compensation administrative law judge (ALJ) to make an award of unapportioned disability, is annulled where: 1) apportionment may be properly based on genetics/hereditability; 2) the QME properly apportioned disability; and 3) the QME's opinion Is based on substantial medical evidence.

[03/29] Marin Community Services v. WCAB
In a writ proceeding seeking to set aside the decision of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) holding that firefighter-petitioner was entitled to the benefit of the rebuttable presumption under Labor Code section 3212.1 that his cancer arose out of his employment, the WCAB's decision is affirmed where: 1) the WCAB's determination that petitioner was an employee of Marinwood was based on a reasonable interpretation of the relevant statutes; and 2) the WCAB's determination that the extension of the cancer presumption ran from the date petitioner last worked as a firefighter for any agency was based on a reasonable interpretation of the relevant statute.

[03/29] Ramirez v. WCAB
In a workers' compensation writ proceeding, seeking review of worker-petitioner's independent medical review on the ground the underlying utilization review was based on an incorrect standard, the order of the administrative law judge (ALJ) taking the matter off calendar is reversed and remanded for further proceedings where: 1) this is not a proper ground for appeal of a utilization review determination because it goes to the heart of the determination of medical necessity; 2) the independent medical reviewer is in the best position to determine whether the proper standard was used to evaluate the medical necessity of the requested treatment, and the statutory scheme requires the independent medical reviewer to use the proper standard in determining medical necessity; and 3) the Legislature's plenary power over the workers' compensation system precludes any separation of powers violation, and the process afforded workers under the system affords sufficient opportunity to present evidence and be heard.

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